iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing stuck or broken power buttons

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing stuck or broken power buttons

Everything you need to know to DIY (do-it-yourself) repair a stuck or broken power button in your iPhone

The iPhone has been plagued with power button issues since the debut of the iPhone 4. We've seen complaints from many readers that their iPhone power buttons are completely recessed and no longer register when pressed. In some cases, they'll still respond but you have to press extremely hard. In severe cases, the power button actually recesses into the casing.

In our experience, power button issues are almost as prevalent as home button issues. As it turns out, the power button itself isn't the culprit at all, the flex cable that sits underneath it is. After so many presses, it just becomes worn down and too thin.

Fortunately, a DIY repair can breath new life into your malfunctioning power button. It'll cost you a lot less than a brand new iPhone and give you lots more life out of your existing one. Regardless which iPhone you have, we've got the guide for you including step by step instructions and links to parts and tools for the suppliers we trust.

If you've got your DIY ninja pants handy, get 'em on and follow along...

How to fix a stuck or broken iPhone 4S power button

How to fix a stuck or broken iPhone 4S power button

The iPhone 4S is still relatively new but that doesn't mean it isn't prone to the same issues the iPhone 4 was considering the overall design of the power button didn't change much at all. The issue isn't actually related to the physical power button at all, but the cable that sits directly below it. This cable controls your power button, ambient light sensor (what senses brightness in a room), proximity sensor (what turns the screen off when the phone is brought to your face), and top mic. If you were experiencing issues with any of these other functions, a new cable may very well prove to solve those issues as well.

While it isn't the easiest repair to perform, it's doable for anyone with moderate to advanced DIY skills. The iPhone 4S isn't a very old device and for most users, a stuck power button probably isn't reason enough to upgrade, especially when you aren't eligible. This repair will get your power button back to perfect working condition in just under 90 minutes if you're taking your time.

How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4

How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4

Just like the iPhone 4S, the Verizon and Sprint variant of the iPhone 4 is just as prone to power button issues, if not more-so. If you find your power button to be recessed or it has stopped registering presses, this DIY repair can help you correct the problem. As in other iPhone models, the actual power button isn't the issue, again it's the cable that lies beneath it. After so many presses, it just becomes worn down and too thin to register when you're pressing it.

While this repair is a little easier than replacing the power button flex cable in the iPhone 4S, we'd still rate it at moderate to advanced. As long as you have some patience and a steady hand, we're confident you can get your Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4 power button back in working condition in around 60 minutes.

How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a GSM/AT&T iPhone 4

How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a GSM/AT&T iPhone 4

The GSM variant of the iPhone 4 is where all power button and home button problems began. Since then, each iteration of the iPhone has had its own set of issues when it comes to these two components failing. It's too early to tell whether this will be the case with the iPhone 5 but in our teardown, we can see it being an issue there too.

Either way, a power button DIY repair on the GSM/AT&T iPhone 4 isn't too much different than that of the Verizon and Sprint iPhone 4. It'll be a different component but the repair, in a lot of ways, is similar. If you're up to the challenge, you can expect it to take you right around 60 minutes if you're taking your time and following the directions we've provided. Just like the iPhone 4S and Verizon and Sprint iPhone 4, the issue is the cable that lies beneath the power button. Follow along and we'll show you how to replace it as well as give you links to where you can find the right tools and replacement tools to get the job done right the first time.

More DIY help & how to's

Whether you aren't sure if these are the repairs you need or you've already started a repair and have run into issues, our jailbreak, mod, and DIY forums are a great place to ask for help.

If you have questions you can't seem to find answers to or would like to see another type of repair guide we don't currently offer, you can always email us as well.

Additional resources:

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 4 comments. Add yours.

Thor25x says:

Could you please do a fix on a stuck or not working iPhone 5 power button? Mine has not worked for a month and I've never dropped it :( Thanks!

z3on says:

You have warranty, why would you want to try and fix it yourself and void your warranty in the process...

Allyson Kazmucha says:

This. If you're under warranty - take it to Apple. They'll swap it out for free as long as there's no physical damage (i.e - smashed screen etc).

DIY repairs are more for people that are out of warranty or have damage that isn't covered by the 1 year warranty.

Jairo Aguilar says:

I have an iphone 4 and my power button still works but I have to press it hard. Should I buy a new power button ? Or just clean it or is there another way to fix it instead of buying a new one thanks!!!